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Mercury Retrograde Shadow Period: What It Is + How Long It Lasts

Sarah Regan
Author: Expert reviewer:
July 1, 2021
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
The AstroTwins
Expert review by
The AstroTwins
Astrologers
Ophira and Tali Edut, known as the AstroTwins, are professional astrologers based out of New York and Seattle. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Elle Magazine, Vogue and Good Morning America and they are the authors AstroStyle, Love Zodiac, Shoestrology, and Momstrology.
July 1, 2021

Ah, at last, Mercury retrograde is over—or so it seems. While yes, this round of Mercury retrograde did technically end on June 22, we are still in its "shadow period" until July 7. And it just so happens that the shadow period can actually be more scrambled than the retrograde itself, according to the AstroTwins. Here's what to know.

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What is a Mercury retrograde shadow?

As the twins explain, "Mercury retrograde has a 'shadow' phase that starts a few weeks before the actual retrograde and ends a few weeks after," adding, "It's like the lingering fumes of a bus or car after it's driven away."

This phase is called stationing, and it describes the time the direct planet (Mercury, in this case) needs to recover the distance that it retreated while in retrograde. "It's a bit like retracing steps," the twins add, and it can last for weeks and even months. We see this "shadow" with the moon phases as well. You might feel the full moon's heightened, semi-chaotic energy in the days leading up to it and after it, for example.

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How to navigate this Mercury retrograde shadow.

Mercury is all about communication, technology, and travel, and even once it goes direct after a retrograde period, you may still encounter some issues during the shadow period. "Basically, you shouldn't rest on your laurels too quickly just because a planet turns direct," the twins explain.

They note that over the next few days, you may be unable to form a decent sentence, send an email to the wrong person, have a hard time making decisions, and even flake on promises.

That said, your best bet is to take things slowly and abide by the general standard protocols for Mercury retrograde, like proofreading, backing up your technology, and potentially even avoiding travel. Oh, and don't text your ex!

As the twins note, this shadow period, or "retroshade," as they call it, "can be a powerful time for integrating lessons that we learned during the retrograde fog." Just remember, they add, "we may still be integrating the wisdom and [feel] unable to rush ahead with clarity."

The bottom line.

Mercury retrograde isn't over until it's really over, and while you may feel things improving on the communication front, there's a good chance you'll still be affected by this shadow period for another week or so. We're nearly there, but it still wouldn't hurt to exercise a little extra caution.

Sarah Regan
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.